Microsoft Corporation has announced its commitment to empower ten million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by the year 2025.
The President of Microsoft Africa, Lillian Barnard, disclosed this during a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria.
Barnard explained that Microsoft aims to provide SMEs with essential digital tools, infrastructure, and scaling support to facilitate their growth and foster strategic collaborations.
She emphasized, “Microsoft is committed to accelerating economic growth in Africa through the transformative power of technology. A key part of this commitment involves ensuring that SMEs have access to the digital financial tools and services they need for success.”
Barnard highlighted the significance of technology and innovation in building thriving local businesses, which, in turn, contribute to stronger economies and a brighter future for all.
Moreover, she acknowledged the crucial role of fintech companies in supporting SMEs and the informal sector. These sectors are responsible for creating the majority of jobs, accounting for seven out of ten job opportunities in the country, and contributing approximately 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product of the economy.
Microsoft also sealed a five-year strategic partnership with Flutterwave to revolutionize payment systems in Africa.
One of the major challenges faced by SMEs and startups is limited access to financial services, hindering their ability to transact seamlessly across various local payment methods.
The Country Manager of Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams, commented, “To foster sustainable growth in Nigeria, small businesses need the capacity to actively engage in both local and global marketplaces. This journey begins with digital financial inclusion.”